Career Counselor meet-up

So most students are off school and these are the moments parents ought to utilize and ensure their kids meet their career mentors or rather career counselor.

Whether you’re an undergraduate, in graduate school, or a few years post-graduation, one of the best resources you have is a college career counselor. These individuals are trained career experts who are ready and willing to help you brainstorm career paths, identify open positions, and give your resume and cover letter a boost.

But to make the most out of this resource, it’s helpful if you know what to expect and what to do to make the most of your meetings.While your career counselor has a wealth of resources and advice and is there to help you out, you’re the one who’s really in the driver’s seat. And she can be most effective when you share what you’re specifically looking to get out of the meeting. Here is a rundown of some of the things you could ask the career counselor.

“How does my resume look?”

Your counselor knows what makes a resume stand out to employers, so bring a copy of yours to the meeting and enlist her feedback. Even if it’s still a work in progress, that’s okay. Bring a draft, or even a list of all your experiences and activities—from your internships and all. Counselors can help you craft experience descriptions that draw attention to the skills and personal qualities you have that employers are seeking.

“What’s the best job search strategy for me?”

Enlist your counselor’s experience in strategizing your approach. Ask questions like: How should I allocate my search time between networking, informational interviews, and applying for jobs? What strategies have been effective for other people applying for these types of positions? How you should approach the job search will vary based on your role, industry, and location, but your career counselor likely has some advice that will help you out.

 

“How can I show I have experience if I don’t have direct experience?”

It’s a great one to ask. Talk to your counselor about the specific types of positions you’re after, as well as how you can leverage extracurricular, volunteer, on-campus, and academic experiences to make the case to a hiring manager that you’re a good fit. Many employers are willing to hire and train the right candidate if she can demonstrate strong communication skills, drive, intelligence, professionalism, and other valuable soft skills—it’s just a matter of positioning.

“How do I look on social media?”

More and more employers are using social media to check out potential candidates, even before the interview. But even if prospective employers are turned off by your Facebook profile pic, they’re probably not going to tell you about it. So, log into your social media platforms with your counselor, and ask for her candid feedback on what your profiles say about your professional image. She can let you know what a third party might think about your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles and whether they will help or hurt your chances of securing a position.

 

“What are my next steps?”

Your first meeting is a great starting point in enlisting the help of your career expert, but be sure to leave the meeting knowing what the next steps are. It may be your turn to update your resume or look at some companies, or it may be time to schedule a follow-up appointment to continue the discussion. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask to meet with your career counselor throughout your search process—remember, that’s what she’s there for!

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Job Hunting

So you graduate from the university, passed all the exams, written every test, it’s time to actually start entering the world of grown-ups and find a proper job. You’ve thought about how it will go following graduation and now the moment has come. The thing is, it’s not that easy as it seemed to be!

You may not even want to admit the amount of times you’ve sent your resume and got no answer or how many employers rejected your application form. Job hunting for college graduates can be very tedious. It takes time, but if you take some extra steps to create a resume and cover letter that stand out, brush up on your interview skills, grow your professional network and be proactive in your job search, you are sure to succeed!

Oh, and you’ll want to steer clear of these common problems graduates face while looking for a job after college:

Meeting the real world

There are a lot of challenges to face when transitioning from a student into the work world, but the major issue lies in the fact that college education doesn’t prepare an individual for real life. Sure, you have the knowledge under your belt from school, but getting and holding a job in the field requires an entirely different set of skills.

In college, you can make mistakes, speak with a teacher and retake the test, prepare additional assignments and that’s it! In real life you will be making hundreds of mistakes and you’ll have no possibility to fix them without consequences. Professors are there to help you succeed, so they are more likely to put up with more than an employer, who has hired you to do a job that meets their professional needs.

Pressure

Lack of maturity is a major downfall for new graduates. Students who haven’t had a taste of the working world may not have a sense of what real responsibility means. This means fresh college graduates may not be able to deal with the daily demands of a job, being told what to do and being expected to do it.

What’s more, when the pressure mounts, they may resort to acting like a child when they don’t get there way. Why? Likely because they haven’t had to deal with authority figures besides their parents and profs, who don’t put the same demands on you as an employer might. This may also cause fresh grads to give up on their job search when things don’t go their way.

Act your age and understand that while things may have been lined up for you during your years of study, in the real world everything isn’t always going to go as planned and there will be times when you face adversary. Handle it like the adult you are!

Poor Image

Poor self-image is a widespread problem for graduates looking for a job after college. Most students haven’t figured out how to represent themselves in the best way, both on and offline, highlighting their strengths and masking weaknesses.

It’s common for potential employers and recruiters to Google candidates to suss out their social media presence, so if you want to look professional, you may want to remove those photos of you doing a keg stand at the last frat party. Sure, most employers will understand that workers have a social life outside of work, but they want to ensure they hire the best people possible to represent their company. Google yourself and clean up your social media accounts before you start applying!

Inflated expectations

Down-to-earth thinking can be an issue for new graduates, as they may believe that they are entitled to their dream job just because they’ve gone to school for years for it. However, this is not the case at all and it’s a hard reality to face if you’ve got inflated expectations.

Realizing that there are many other factors that go into the hiring process that exceed further than your college credentials will have bring you back down to earth, so you can focus on the rest of the package.

Lack of experience

Last, but not least is a lack of professional experience. When students finish their studies, it’s unlikely that they’ve had had enough time to gain experience in the field – meaning it’s less likely for them to get the desired job compared to a person that is more qualified.

It can be truly challenging, but the best way to find a job after college education is to be open for new experience and be hard-working and motivated enough to make your own decisions. A great way to gain experience is to complete an internship, as it will increase your chances to be hired for a full-time position.

Getting your first job after university is a huge move into a life of adults – where you’re responsible for your own actions, have to count on yourself and take risks. It’s a hell of a task to live through all the job interviews, meet the expectations of choosy bosses and high job requirements. So you’ve got to be stress-resistant, flexible and attentive to details. Remember, that first job is the first step on your professional ladder, so plant your foot firmly.

To sum it up, it’s appropriate to say that finding your first job after post-secondary education is a really complex task, but it’s up to you! It’s you who defines your future path in life and it’s you who is able to challenge yourself every day and make yourself stronger, smarter and, most importantly, happier! Remember, that it’s not the job you live for, it’s life you work for!

Gender Equality in Career

Workplace still has barriers associated with bias and status level. They need to face the problem gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes are belief that one holds about the characteristics and traits of women and men. In essence,gender stereotyping promotes the belief that women should be traditionally feminine and men are to be traditionally masculine. Such as in the corporate world, women have difficulty achieving leadership role. It appears that women continue to be viewed as strong in personal and family roles and not meant to assume leadership role. This so-called glass ceiling is the invisible barrier that blocks women from high-level position.

I was going through some job advert and they were specifying job posts on gender basis. Some posts were specifically for men while others were specifically for the ladies. It got me thinking, in this time and era there is still issues with gender. For instance, the technical field the girl child are countable. If only this could be worked on.

I don’t have a magic wand that can solve the gender disparity problem, but I do see a couple of ways :

  • Show the options available: Students in high school and college don’t see a career path in some fields because no one has shown them the possibilities. We need to get better at communicating different job roles and career paths. Taking the time to explain these jobs, how they translate into a profession that has upward mobility opportunities, what qualifications are needed and the compensation that they should expect (and demand!) will go a long way.
  • Address social pressure or gender stereotypes early on: Many schools still offer gender-specific activities, and it’s difficult for them to show an interest in some fields as it’s stereotyped to may be a specific gender .
  • Explore alternative opportunities: If schools can’t offer suitable programs to curb gender equality in careers, look to say local government for after-school education programs. Find ways to partner your company with other businesses, schools and community organizations that focus on this issue. There are some great programs out there that have been created to aim at inspiring interest in gender equality in careers.

 

Career and Job the same thing???

“Career” and “Job” are often used to mean the same thing, they really are different.

While both a job and a career involve getting up and going to work in the morning, there is a huge difference in the mindset of a person holding a job and the mindset of a person with a career. The differences don’t necessarily come from salary or benefits. They might not even come from the difficulty of the work.
If you work in a part-time job in your youth in order to have extra spending money, it isn’t likely you’d refer to it as a career. Why?
The reason is that a job is something you do without much concern for the long-term. You get a job to buy your first car, to have extra spending money, to learn about work, or to pay the bills.
When young people work part-time in retail sales jobs, they aren’t thinking of it as a career.

Lets just get down to it.

What is a Career? A career is a series of connected employment opportunities, where you build up skills at earlier employment opportunities to move you into higher paying and higher prestige employment opportunities later on. In five years, you’re planning to be doing something very similar to what you’re doing now, but hopefully with more income and more interesting problems to tackle.

What is a job? A job is simply something you do to earn money. Career advancement is not something you’re interested in there and the work often doesn’t interest you at all. In five years, you’ll likely not be doing anything like your current job.

You will definitely notice that a job has minimal impact on future resumes and job applications because it’s completely unrelated to the stuff you’ll be applying for. A career is a series of heavily related jobs that will always be used on future applications and resumes.

A job is just there to put some easy cash in your pocket. A career provides the backbone of experiences and learning that will fuel your professional life for years, if not your entire life.

A job offers very few networking opportunities, because the people at a job are not people you’ll likely know at a future job. A career is loaded with networking opportunities, as most of the people around you are involved in similar careers to yours and they’ll keep popping up time and time again.

So be keen to note the difference and note what you are working on is it just a job or is it just a career?